Memorial Middle School celebrates state STEM certification

Special PhotoState Superintendent of Schools Richard Woods and former Memorial Middle School students, from left, Tabatha Farro, Ashanah Gayden, Cara Zheng, Imani Gunnison and Cole Nangle helped celebrate Memorial Middle School’s certification as one of only five schools in Georgia to receive the state’s certification for its Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program in 2015.

CONYERS — The Georgia Department of Education has provided $500,000 in grant funding to help middle schools implement computer coding programs.

The funds, awarded to 20 schools in 19 school districts, specifically target middle schools in rural, underserved or high-poverty school clusters and include Memorial Middle School in Rockdale County.

The funding is intended to assist the 20 middle schools with the implementation of computer coding curriculum, computer science-related professional development and training, equipment purchases and the establishment of computer science certification pathways.

“Georgia is the Silicon Valley of the South,” said Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan. “Our state is home to a world-class tech industry which could realistically become the Technology Capital of the entire East Coast. However, the growth of the tech sector — which will create more high-paying job opportunities for Georgians — is contingent upon our educating students to a 21st century standard. This program, which allows students to get hands-on coding experience in middle school, will put our students on a pathway to success and allow our state’s booming tech industry to continue expanding.”

“Providing high-quality computer science opportunities is essential as we prepare Georgia’s students for their futures,” said School Superintendent Richard Woods. “Computer science is now an essential academic discipline, one that provides foundational knowledge and skills that benefit every child. We will continue to work to expand computer science learning throughout the K-12 system.”

The grant, which was first offered in 2018, is part of CS4GA — an initiative focused on making Georgia a national leader in the computer science movement by developing and delivering high-quality courses, resources and professional learning; increasing the number of CS endorsements held by educators; and expanding the integration of CS throughout the K-12 curriculum.